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A New Hire Checklist for Successful Employee Onboarding

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Effective employee onboarding can positively impact your business in a number of ways, including higher levels of retention and engagement. Find out how you can put together a new hire checklist for best success.

The saying goes, “You only get one chance at a first impression.” When it comes to welcoming an employee to your organization, a new hire checklist is one of the best tools to help you make a great one.


In this article, you’ll learn about:


Forbes reports that employers lose 17% of new hires due to poor onboarding and that standard onboarding programs increase retention by a whopping 50%.

This means that ensuring your company has a solid onboarding experience is crucial to retaining an engaged workforce. 

Keep reading to learn how to put together a new hire checklist that can help you effectively onboard your employees. 



The Benefits of Effective Onboarding 

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Companies who are putting an emphasis on a solid employee onboarding experience are doing so for good reason. Here are just a few of the facts about how effective onboarding can impact organizations and their new hires: 

  • 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience good onboarding, according to SHRM

  • 91% of people who received effective onboarding feel strongly connected at work, compared to 29% of those who had ineffective onboarding, according to BambooHR

  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process see 50% greater new-hire productivity, according to SHRM

  • 89% of employees who received effective onboarding felt strongly integrated into their company culture, according to BambooHR

Simply put, companies that make onboarding a priority are more likely to have employees who are: 

  • Productive in their roles faster 
  • Engaged with their work 
  • Loyal to their employer 
  • Involved in their company culture


How to Create Your Onboarding Checklist

Knowing that you need a good onboarding program and putting one together are two very different things. So, how can you build an effective onboarding program that resonates with new hires?  

Below our HR team shares best practices for creating an onboarding checklist, from start to finish. 

Before an Employee’s Start Date
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Your checklist should begin before your new hire even starts in their role. Here’s how you can prepare for their first day: 

  • Set Up All Tools: Ensure all resources are ready for when the new employee joins. For example, you’ll want to make sure that all workstations are set up, laptops are ready to go, and accounts have been activated. This can help avoid login issues, or important software from being missing on their first day. 
     
  • Touch Base: Contact your new hire before they begin and ask if they have any questions. You should also provide them with any relevant materials for their start date, such as a list of what they can bring or your office’s dress code. This can help them feel confident about their first day on the job and relieve common anxieties about not being prepared.  
     
  • Spread the Word: Let your organization know before a new member joins your team. Try sharing the news via email or memo and inform your colleagues of the individual’s first day, name, role, and a little bit about them. This can help current employees know more about their new coworker before they even start. 
     
  • Get a Welcome Gift: You can choose to leave a small gift or handwritten welcome card on your new employee’s desk. Something like a water bottle or coffee mug that they can use at the office is a great cost-effective option. Cards signed by their colleagues can also add a nice touch. 
Once a New Hire Joins Your Team 
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The first day of your new employee has arrived! Below are the steps you can take to help make the transition into their role a success. 

  • Prioritize Your Training: Evaluate what information will be relevant to each new hire. From there, you can prioritize what content should be shared first, how long each information session should be, and if any other employees need to attend.  
     
  • Provide a Road Map: Let your new employee know what’s in store for their first day, week, month – all the way through to the end of their probationary period. Try online tools to help you, your new hire, and their leader share and track progress as you move through the schedule. For example, check out this free onboarding template from Smartsheet
     
  • Introduce Your Leadership Team: Arrange for your new hire to meet with the leaders of other departments, as well as your senior management team. Quick 15 to 30-minute meetings can help an employee better understand the roles of other teams within the company and build familiarity. 

  • Incorporate Social Activities: Book in time for fun and the opportunity for your new hire to meet their colleagues. Team lunches or app-based team building activities give individuals the chance to get to know their coworkers away from their desks, building connections right away.
After Onboarding Is Complete
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Once your official onboarding and training is complete, your work is not done! Here are a couple ways to ensure that all your hard work pays off. 

  • Have a Follow Up Meeting: Learning the intricacy of a new role can be overwhelming, so it’s important to touch base with your employee after onboarding. Check in and revisit important training pieces that you previously covered to reinforce the learning. Be sure to ask if they have any questions about their role and responsibilities, or anything you’ve gone over in your training sessions.

  • Send a Survey: When your entire process is complete, send your employee a survey. This can help you get a sense of what’s working and what you may need to tweak for future hires. For inspiration, here’s a sample New Hire Onboarding Survey Template from SurveyMonkey that you can model your questions after. 

A strong onboarding program can help your company build lasting loyalty with your employees. By putting together a comprehensive new hire checklist that covers before, during, and after your onboarding, you can help individuals flourish in their positions. 

Does your company offer a structured employee onboarding program? Let us know your experience with training new hires in the comments below. 



Learn More About Team Building for Your Group

For more information about how team building can benefit your group, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.

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